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38                                       PLORA  INDICA.

We have already remarked that the effect of confounding
variations with specific differences has been to swell the sup-
posed number of known plants by one-third; and wo think
that, if mistaken ideas of distribution be, added, we shall find
that, of the number of species enumerated in catalogues, the
proportion 'tfiat are spurious amounts to at least one-half,
Thus, there are not a few botanists who have contributed a
very considerable number of such, founded aolcly on the fact
of their supposed isolation, and which were not even compared
with their described congeners previous to being thrust as new
into the annals of botany. The Indian Flora swarmx with
these. In the natural order Kumtnailace& alone, comprising
115 species, we have been obliged to reduce 28 supposed spe-
cies*, founded exclusively on Indian specimens, to well-known
European plants, besides a multitude of other**, natives* of
Siberia, Persia, Western Asia, and some eastern Asiatic ones.
Of the 27 European Ranuwculacea enumerated, only 4 had
previously been identified, and of 17 others all had one or
more new names, there being S& new names in all. When
we add, that such plants as the common English Marsh-Ma-
rigbld, Monks-hood, Columbine, Pseony, Actsea, Crowfoot,
Berberry, White Waterlily, and lied Poppy, have all had
names lavished on them in virtue of their I ndiau birthplace,
our readers may judge for themselves of the pro^rewi that
the geographical distribution of Indian or European plants in
likely to make for some years to comef. Of the undue im~

* This is a. very moderate estimate, for wo My beluw» that fUtura Author*
will reduce many other species which -we keep distinct, to KngUah form*, mpc-
ciaUy among the Ranunculi and Delphinict; we have, howtwr, eonrtitlewl it
necessary to prove absolute identity between the European and India indivi-
duals, before uniting them, which of course oblige* u* to keep separate many
plants which we My believe to be only Indian forms of well-known western

t The convene of this is equally instructive and iHuBtratire of the point we
wish to impress. The Silver Cedar of our parks, so long «s it» habitat WM un-
known, was nnirer&ally considered to be a variety of the Lebanon Cedtr: now
that it is known to oome from Algeria, Mid iwt Ixjb^ou, it b OMi«idk!red * dif-
ferent species in standard works*